Bible Passage of the Week
The Unseen Is Eternal

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NRSV)
Online Giving at RUMC

Giving online is easy and allows you to set up automatic recurring contributions and view your complete online giving history from anywhere you have access to the Internet. Or you can enter one-time contributions from the internet or by smart phone.

To get started, simply follow these easy steps:

  • Click on the Online Giving button below. This will take you to our church’s online giving webpage.

  • Click on our Create Profile button on that webpage.

  • Follow the onscreen instructions to create an online profile and to schedule your recurring or one-time contributions.






Calendar of Upcoming Events

Sunday, December 17
Children’s Choir Sunday (Joint Service). Sanctuary, 10:30 AM. Cookies and coffee to be served after the service in Crichton Fellowship Hall.

Tuesday, December 19
RESTORE Toy Store Open. Crichton Hall, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM

Wednesday, December 20
Birthday Party for Jesus.  Crichton Fellowship Hall, 6:00 PM

Thursday, December 21
RESTORE Toy Store Open. Crichton Hall, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM

Friday, December 22 – 
Monday, January 8
RESTORE Closed for two-week vacation.

Sunday, December 24
Christmas Eve Service.  Sanctuary, 10:30 AM
Candlelight Communion Service. Sanctuary, 9:00 PM

Tuesday, December 26—
Wednesday, January 10
Pastor Merritt’s vacation.

Wednesday, December 27
No Wonderful Wednesday activities.

Wednesday, January 3
No Wonderful Wednesday activities.

Wednesday, January 10
Wonderful Wednesday activities resume.
Advent Services
On Sunday, December 17, the children’s choir will be performing at a joint service. There will be refreshments available after the service in the fellowship hall.

The Care Committee will be offering punch and cookies in Crichton Hall after the Children’s Christmas Program on Sunday, December 17th. If you would like to donate cookies for this occasion, please contact Connie Mosley (766-7104).

We will have two services on December 24, Christmas Eve.  In addition to our regular worship service at 10:30 AM, we will have an evening Candlelight and Communion service at 9:00 PM.

The 100 By Christmas Challenge
Gary Floyd, Jack Findlay and the United Methodist Men are challenging the congregation to increase attendance during the Advent season. Their goal is to reach a combined Sunday attendance of 100 by Christmas eve. Between the English and Hispanic services, we are currently averaging between 75 and 85 folks, so this seems like a very makeable goal for our congregation.

The United Methodist Men are also doing their “No Christmas Tree Sale” for the third straight year. Each man has pledged to contribute $200 to the UMM over the next month, and we are asking others in the congregation to add what they can to this special drive. Our goal is to reach $3,000 (or more) and to add the proceeds to the church’s general fund early in 2018.

Thank You Cards
This holiday season, the church office is challenging everyone in the congregation to take the opportunity to write out a word of gratitude to at least three other people in our church family. This is an opportunity to show thankfulness anytime between now and year’s end. Make sure that at least one card goes to someone you don’t know all that well. If you can’t mail cards, emailing would be a nice substitute. Early in 2018, we will share testimonies about this exercise. Let’s all try to encourage one another during the holiday season.

The RESTORE Food Pantry 
Reaches our Community
Over the past three months, the RESTORE Food Pantry has been serving a growing number of families each month. In September, the pantry served 1,240 households; in October, the pantry’s base grew to 1,898 families; and, in November, the pantry provided groceries to 1,946 families.

RESTORE will end its year with a Christmas Toy Store on Tuesday, December 19th and Thursday, December 21st from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM in Crichton Hall. Donations of toys and clothing is need for children 12 years of age and under. 
 Please bring you donations in as soon as possible.

Following that week, RESTORE will be on vacation for two weeks from Friday, December 22 until they re-open on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Please be aware that Maritza Rivera will be stepping down as our RESTORE director in order to take a paid position with Feeding America Tampa Bay. We want to thank Maritza for her faithful and dedicated leadership over the past year.

Holiday Hiatus
We will be taking a short hiatus from Wonderful Wednesday activities on Wednesday, December 27th and January 3, 2018. We will resume our Wonderful Wednesday activities on January 10th.

Pastor Merritt will be on vacation, beginning on Tuesday, December 26th, and will not return on January 10th. Pastor Rick Phillips will be on emergency pastoral call during that period: Rick’s phone number is (813)503-7933.

From Our Pastor
I have spoken to our District Superintendent, and I have sent my official letter of retirement to Bishop Carter. It has really hit me hard, because now my June retirement feels “official”.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to what God has for us as a church family in the days ahead. We really must pull together and honor our awesome Lord by remaining faithful and obedient to Him as we strive to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!”

I want to finish well, and I will need all your prayers and support. I will continue to uphold each of you in my prayers! God’s many blessings to each of you.

Continued on NEWS Page
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8002 U. S. Highway 301 South, Riverview, FL  33578  813-677-5995
Sunday Services
Faith Groups/Sunday School, 9:00 AM-9:55 AM
Relationships/Refreshment, 10:00 AM-10:25 AM
Worship Service, 10:30 AM
Hispanic Worship Service
 12:00 Noon

Rev. Merritt Waters, Pastor
Norma Encarnacion, Lay Pastor, Hispanic Congregation

Here at Riverview First United Methodist Church, it is our mission to win people to Christ, to train believers to become disciples, and to send disciples to impact our community and the world for Jesus Christ.
Download the December, 2017
BELL Newsletter from this link.
Download the Prayer Tree for 
December 10 from this link .
Our Hispanic Ministry
Norma Encarnacion is the lay pastor for the Hispanic Ministry of Riverview First United Methodist Church. The Hispanic congregation worships in our sanctuary every Sunday beginning at noon, and it meets in an Hispanic Bible study every Wednesday evening from 7:00 until 8:00 PM as part of RUMC’s “Wonderful Wednesday” activities.

As a community service, the Hispanic Ministry offers non-English speakers a free ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. ESOL classes assemble in rooms 4 and 8, and are available for all non-English speakers on an open enrollment basis.

The Hispanic Ministry also offers GED classes to those interested in obtaining their high school diploma. This class is open to all interested Riverview residents—not just to Hispanics. GED classes will be offered every Tuesday and Thursday evening as well.

The Hispanic congregation also sponsors a church prayer time every Tuesday morning from 10 AM to Noon in the sanctuary—this weekly prayer time is open to everyone in need of prayer.

Finally, the Hispanic Ministry is also extensively involved with our Metropolitan Ministries Saturday feeding partnership and RESTORE’s food pantry and thrift shop. It is with great gratitude that the Hispanic ministry serves the Lord and our community.